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Top This: Mashed Potatoes (à la URBN Coal Fired Pizza/Bar)

[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

Finding myself with a free afternoon in San Diego, I was compelled to check out the Mashed Potatoes pizza at URBN Coal Fired Pizza/Bar (the pie SD contributor, Erin Jackson, named as the most unusual pizzas she's eaten). Plus, being a bit of a pizza nerd, I was eager to see URBN's coal fire oven—one of only two in California (that I know of).

The pie's are a homage to owner Jon Mangini hometown of New Haven, Conn. Like the apizzas of Frank Pepe's and Sally's, URBN's pies are large, thin and served on sheets of wax paper in trays. But unlike Erin's review, during my visit the crust was charred deep into New Haven levels... aka delicious levels.

General Manager, Doug Ritz, assured me the mashed potatoes pizza is a New Haven style (a quick search through the Slice archives proved him right). More than starch-on-starch, the potatoes melt into a lightly whipped buttery air—something a predominantly dairy base can't do. The starchy structure cradles clouds of fresh mozzarella and crisp ribbons of bacon, which balance effortlessly on the thin pliable crust.

Like many great eatable discoveries, an alternative version of this pizza was developed during staff meal. The morning staff began tossing eggs on their pies, and so the Breakfast pizza was born. It began as a silent special, but its popularity earned it a spot on URBN's menu. Instead of bacon, the Breakfast pizza is topped with fresh slices of tomato, bell pepper laced through the mashed potatoes with ready-to-burst baked eggs on top. Served with a requisite side of hot sauce, this pizza is the perfect start to any day.

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What You'll Need

Alternative Breakfast Add-ons:

URBN Coal Fired Pizza/Bar

3085 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (map)
619-255-7300; urbnnorthpark.com

About the author: After nearly a decade in Brooklyn, Kelly Bone landed back in Los Angeles where she writes The Vegetarian Foodie. She spends the rest of her time designing office cubicles... you might be sitting in one right now! Follow her on Twitter at @TheVegFoodie

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